ABC News' Amy Walter reports:
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney had about 800 of his friends to Las Vegas this weekend, but it wasn’t for the reason most folks think of a Vegas get-away.
Instead, these F.O.M’s (friends of Mitt) spent their day at the Las Vegas Convention Center (starting at 5 a.m. local time) dialing for dollars for Romney’s still unofficial presidential campaign.
And it paid off. By the end of the day, the Romney campaign said it had raised $10.25M, all of it useable in the primary.
“We are overwhelmed by the outpouring of support for Gov. Romney’s campaign,” said Finance Chair Spencer Zwick in a press release. “The results are a strong indication of the national enthusiasm for Gov. Romney and his pro-jobs platform. As today’s event makes clear, Gov. Romney will have the resources to be competitive and to spread his jobs and economy message.”
A similar day-long fundraising phone-a-thon in Boston by Romney in January 2007 netted the campaign $6.5 million.
The fundraising haul also marks a nice pivot for the Romney campaign away from a topic he’d rather not have to talk much about (health care reform), to a topic he’d love to talk more about (his fundraising prowess and the economy). In the end, say Romney supporters, the former Massachusetts Governor will be the only candidate with the financial resources to mount a full-out, national primary campaign. As one GOP insider remarked to “The Note” today, Romney’s goal for this fundraising quarter will be to have raised more than all of his GOP opponents combined. Given his haul today, that’s a real possibility.
Of course, we’ve learned that early fundraising success doesn’t always guarantee electoral success. Just ask Howard Dean, Rudy Giuliani or Hillary Clinton about that.
One quick side note: Romney’s phone-a-rama seems a bit archaic in the era of Internet “money bombs.” In November 2007, for example, Ron Paul’s Internet-only daylong fundraising campaign raised $4.2M. Of course, the overhead costs may be worth the message it sends: The big establishment donors are with us.